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Pti

Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress in Odisha on Wednesday criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for not keeping his promise to establish a strong Lokayukta in the state.

"Patnaik on December 28, 2011 had announced bringing of a strong Lokayukta bill in the Odisha Assembly at the height of the Anna Hazare movement. But, so far no such bill is introduced," Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan told reporters here.

The Congress leader said: "Patnaik had said we will do our best to bring the Lokayukta Bill very shortly."

The Chief Minister had then said that his government would bring such a Bill after the Gram Panchayat elections in 2012, Harichandan pointed out.

But two years down the line, there is no word from the chief minister on when the time will come to bring such a bill, Harichandan said adding that even draft of the proposed Bill was not yet prepared.

The Congress leader claimed that the state government did not table about 21 special reports made by the Lokpal in the Assembly.

"These special reports of Lokpal included one on the controversial Vedanta University case where te chief minister and his office have been indicted," Harichandan said.

Harichandan further said that the the post of Lokpal was lying vacant for 11 months ever since the death of the previous Lokpal Justice R K Patra.

Reacting on the passing of the Bill in Parliament, Patnaik today said: "It is a historic day. We supported the Bill whole-heartedly and I am sure this will bring about transparency in the system."

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